A new strategic direction for Bayley House

Driving the organisation forward

Bayley House is a support service for adults with intellectual disability and is based in Brighton, Victoria. More than 200 adults participate in daytime and after hours activities that develop and enhance skill development. They also provide social interaction and enrich a sense of belonging and connectedness.

Many clients arrive at Bayley House via the transport service and are collected from their residence and returned home at the close of day. There are over 40 people living in supported accommodation. More than 100 families also take advantage of short stay accommodation to offer respite breaks for the client, families and carers.

Rhonda Whitfield, Past Chair Bayley House with members of community


Bayley House’s goals are to ensure:

  • A greater choice of services for adults by increasing the range and complexity of services tailored for clients’ specific needs
  • The organisation is sustainable and financially viable and relevant to customers
  • Expansion through natural growth and strategic collaborations and alliances
  • Safe and secure accommodation with relevant activities in the community, at home and the centre.


When Governance Intelligence was engaged, Bayley House was in transition from a block-funding model via Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria, to a market-based, customer driven model. This involved clients purchasing services to support their specific needs and desires. The organisation required a greater understanding of how to improve the management of business operations to more effectively roll out this new model.

Rhonda Whitfield, former Chair of Bayley House said “the aim was to align thinking across the organisation and develop an organisation-wide strategy supported by an inclusive, enthusiastic workforce. The key was to drive the organisation forward through closely understanding needs and engaging with many stakeholders: customers, families and carers, staff and external entities”.

Rhonda Whitfield, Past Chair Bayley House


Bayley House began the journey with Governance Intelligence in 2016. They were selected because Damien Smith demonstrated it would be a partnership which could provide the required level of involvement, as well as human dynamics and organisational psychology to complement the online Board Effectiveness Audit.

During 2018 all clients transitioned to individual customer National Disability Insurance Scheme’s plans with individual budgets which was completed by early 2019. With a new Chief Executive Officer, it was timely to expand upon the earlier work and extend the governance audit more widely to take advantage of Governance Intelligence’s Whole of Organisation Governance Audit. One aspect of using the Whole of organisation Governance Audit was to assist the new CEO to more objectively define and prioritise KPIs. This Audit was undertaken in August 2019 with results presented to the Board in October 2019.

Once the results were presented, the key benefits became evident with workshops led by Damien Smith AM, Managing Director of Governance Intelligence. These were conducted across several layers of management resulting in a greater understanding and closer alignment to goals, throughout the organisation.


The audits and workshops had a significant result for Bayley House which is outlined below:

  • Bayley House achieved an alignment of thinking and understanding of the overall strategy of the Board with the executive team. Everyone recognised and accepted that vast and dynamic change was needed in the organisation.
  • All levels of staff realised that business processes needed to change, and business technology could usefully support their work with clients.
  • Identified new, professional talent needed to be recruited. The new staff were required to be highly skilled and autonomous in managing their own areas of expertise. They also needed to be able to help drive the change which would elevate the organisation to a more commercially-oriented, customer centric level without losing its warmth and passion for people.
  • Monitoring of results will continue in the future with frequent Governance Intelligence Pulse Audits which are short, sharp and easy to complete. These pulse audits quickly identify opportunities for improvements and help make refinements to positively impact performance and competitiveness.

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Or contact Damien Smith for a discussion on +61 418 325 781 or email info@governanceintelligence.com.au 

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